• Thursday, Aug 06, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:55 am

Five dead in attack targeting Shias in Pakistan's southwest

  • Published at 04:43 pm October 9th, 2017
Five dead in attack targeting Shias in Pakistan's southwest
Gunmen on Monday killed five people including three Shia Muslims in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province in the latest sectarian attack on the religious minority, police said. Two men on a motorbike attacked a vehicle carrying four Shia vegetable sellers as it left the provincial capital Quetta. "The local police escort the Shia vegetable sellers daily... one of the vehicles today fell victim to sniper fire after it got separated from the rest of the escort," senior local police official Abdul Razzaq Cheema told AFP. He said the gunmen killed three Shias from the Hazara ethnic minority as well as the van driver and a passer-by. One Shia vegetable seller suffered several bullet wounds but survived. Another senior local police official, Naseeb Ullah, confirmed the incident and casualties. Both officials described the incident as a sectarian attack on Shia Hazaras. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Taliban militants have targeted Shia Hazaras in the past. Shias make up roughly 20 percent of Pakistan's 200 million people. Attacks by Sunni hardliners against them, along with other sectarian violence, have claimed thousands of lives in the country over the past decade. The south-western province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has ample oil and gas resources but is afflicted by Islamist militancy, sectarian violence and a separatist insurgency.
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